• PulteGroup 2Q profit climbs 15 percent

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) — PulteGroup Inc. (PHM) on Thursday reported profit that rose by 15 percent in its second quarter, and fell short of analysts' expectations. The Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based company said net income increased to $41.9 million, or 11 cents per share, from $36.4 million, or 9 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 25 cents per share. The average per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for profit of 26 cents. The homebuilder posted revenue of $1.29 billion compared with $1.28 billion in the same quarter a year earlier, and missed Wall Street estimates. Analysts expected $1.34 billion, according to Z

  • Southwest reports record profit of $465M for 2Q

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines is reporting a record profit for the second quarter, more than doubling its earnings from a year ago. The company said it set records for passenger fares per mile and the percentage of seats sold on its planes during the April-to-June period. It said that bookings in July have been strong, with passengers paying about 3 percent more per mile than in July 2013. Southwest Airlines Co. is in the midst of several big changes, including phasing out the AirTran Airways brand, starting international flights on Southwest, and expansion in Dallas and other key markets.

  • American Airlines boosts profit on higher revenue

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Profit and revenue are up at American Airlines, and the company will share some of the gains with shareholders. American Airlines Group Inc. said Thursday that it earned a record $864 million in the second quarter, up from the $507 million that American and US Airways earned separately a year ago, before their merger. Excluding special charges, the company said it earned a record $1.46 billion, or $1.98 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected $1.95 per share. Revenue rose 10.2 percent on a combined basis as passengers paid 6.5 percent more per mile for their tickets. American said that it will pay a dividend for the first time since 1980, buy back up to $1 billion in shares, and

  • Bristol 2Q net drops on lower drug sales, charges

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s exit from the diabetes business, plus higher taxes and research spending, combined to slash the drugmaker's second-quarter profit by 38 percent, but the company handily beat Wall Street's muted profit expectations. The maker of arthritis medicine Orencia and schizophrenia drug Abilify also lowered its profit forecast for 2014 by 20 cents, to a range of $1.50 to $1.60, saying it expects more restructuring charges and asset writedowns. The New York-based drugmaker said Thursday that net income was $333 million, or 20 cents per share, down from $536 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • United Airlines posts 2Q profit, reversing 1Q loss

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines is making money after a slow start to the year. The airline's net income in the second quarter hit $789 million, topping Wall Street expectations and marking a turnaround from the first quarter when United was the only major U.S. carrier to report a loss. The company also said Thursday that it will buy back up to $1 billion in shares over the next three years. Shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. jumped $2.60, or 5.7 percent, to $48.60 in morning trading. United has struggled to overcome technology glitches and other problems since the 2010 merger of United and Continental. The Chicago airline lost $609 million in the first quarter as it suffered through 35,000 weather-relate

  • Slow North Dakota city fire alert raises concern

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A more efficient system must be established to alert residents of danger in North Dakota's booming oil patch, an emergency manager and residents said, after authorities failed to alert the public for more than six hours when a facility storing toxic chemicals exploded. No one was injured or killed in the explosion and fire that started around midnight Monday and raged for much of Tuesday at the Red River Supply plant, located about half a mile from downtown Williston. The blaze shot fireballs into the air and a plume of smoke prompted the cancellation of flights for several hours. "They should have done more," said Aaron Volesky, a resident in the city of 20,000 people.

  • US new-home sales tumble 8.1 percent in June to annual rate of 406,000

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — US new-home sales tumble 8.1 percent in June to annual rate of 406,000.

  • US stocks open higher as investors gauge earnings

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market is opening slightly higher as several big companies across industries report second-quarter earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average rose two points, or 0.02 percent, to 17,089 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index also added two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,988. The Nasdaq advanced 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,484. Facebook rose 7.4 percent after beating expectations for earnings. The world's largest social media company said late Wednesday that it earned $788 million in the April-June period. Ford's stock advanced 1.5 percent. It reported second-quarter earnings early Thursday that climbed 6 percent on gains in Europe.

  • Dr Pepper Snapple Group 2Q profit climbs 35 pct.

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    PLANO, Texas (AP) — Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (DPS) on Thursday reported its earnings rose 35 percent in its second quarter, and topped analysts' expectations. The Plano, Texas-based company said net income increased to $210 million, or $1.06 per share, from $155 million, or 76 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. The average per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 92 cents. The maker of beverages such as 7Up, Sunkist and Mott's said revenue rose 1.2 percent to $1.63 billion from $1.61 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. The results matched Wall Street forecasts. Dr Pepper Snapple Group shares have climbed $9.72, or 20 percent, to $58.

  • United 1st US airline to resume flights to Israel

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — United Airlines will be the first U.S. carrier to resume flights to Israel after a two-day hiatus caused by combat in the Gaza Strip. The Chicago-based airline says it will resume service to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv with a 4:45 p.m. eastern flight from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. A second United flight will leave Newark at 10:50 p.m. eastern. The decision comes hours after the Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on U.S. flights in and out of Israel, which the agency had imposed out of concern for the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets. Delta Air Lines and American Airlines, the two other U.S. carriers that fly to Israel, have said they are still eva

  • SuperValu 1Q profit falls 49 percent

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — SuperValu Inc. (SVU) on Thursday reported profit that decreased by 49 percent in its fiscal first quarter after receiving a large tax benefit a year ago. Shares of the grocery store operator fell more than 6 percent in premarket trading. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based company said net income declined to $43 million, or 17 cents per share, from $85 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Earnings, adjusted to account for discontinued operations and non-recurring costs, were 18 cents per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 17 cents per share. The company said revenue slipped to $5.23 billion from

  • Boston Scientific 2Q profit falls 97 percent

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX) reported second-quarter earnings that sank 97 percent, as a heavy lawsuit-related charge and other expenses weighed on the medical device maker's results. The performance topped analyst expectations. The Marlborough, Massachusetts, company said Thursday its profit declined to $4 million, or roughly breakeven on a per-share basis, from $130 million, or 10 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 21 cents per share. The average per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for profit of 20 cents. The company said revenue rose 3.5 percent to $1.87 billion from $1.81 billion

  • 3M 2Q profit rises 6 percent

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — 3M's second-quarter profit jumped 6 percent as sales surged across all its businesses. The maker of Post-it notes, industrial coatings and ceramics posted net income of $1.27 billion, or $1.91 per share, in the quarter ending June 30, compared with $1.2 billion, or $1.71 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. The profit matched Wall Street expectations and the company's revenue, which rose 4.9 percent to $8.13 billion, edged out most analyst projections, according to a poll by FactSet. "Organic sales growth was again positive across all businesses and geographic regions which helped drive double-digit growth in earnings per share," said Chairman and CEO Inge Thulin.

  • US unemployment aid applications drop to 284,000

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week to its lowest level in eight years. Weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the lowest reading since February 2006, nearly two years before the Great Recession began. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined 7,250 to 302,000. Claims for jobless aid have been falling for the past three months. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When employers hold onto their workers, it's a sign of potential income gains, increased hiring and confidence that the economy will grow. The decline in people applying for benefits buttress

  • Wal-Mart names new CEO of US discount division

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says U.S. discount-store chief Bill Simon is stepping down. The world's largest retailer has named the head of its Asian business as his replacement. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer says that Greg Foran, 53, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Asia, will succeed Simon. Simon helmed the Wal-Mart U.S. division since June 2010. The changes will take effect Aug. 9. The company says Simon will be available on a consulting basis for the next six months to ensure a seamless transition. Foran will report directly to Doug McMillon, who took over as president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in February.

  • Hershey 2Q profit climbs 5.4 percent

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) — Hershey Co. (HSY) on Thursday reported net income that rose by 5.4 percent in its second quarter. The results matched analysts' expectations. The Hershey, Pennsylvania-based company said net income increased to $168.2 million, or 75 cents per share, from $159.5 million, or 70 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 76 cents per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 76 cents per share. The chocolate bar and candy maker said revenue rose 4.6 percent to $1.58 billion from $1.51 billion in the same quarter a year earlier. The results matched Wall Street forecasts. Hershey shares h

  • UK: Former reporter sentenced for phone hacking

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — A former British tabloid reporter was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence Thursday for his role in the long-running phone hacking scandal that shook Rupert Murdoch's media empire. Dan Evans, 38, had pleaded guilty to eavesdropping on voicemails of some 200 celebrities between 2003 and 2010 in pursuit of scoops on their private lives for the Murdoch's News of the World and the independently owned Sunday Mirror newspapers. Evans also admitted to making a false witness statement and conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

  • JFK returns to old look in new collectors' coins

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — President John F. Kennedy is getting his old look back on new collectors' coins. The slain president's profile debuted on the half dollar 50 years ago, and the image was subtly tweaked and sharpened in the 1990s. Now the U.S. Mint is producing collectors' coins that restore the original 1964 design, which incorporated suggestions from a grieving Jacqueline Kennedy. Gold coins being stamped at the mint's West Point plant this week portray JFK's famously tousled head of hair a bit fluffier, his part is less severe and his cheeks less chiseled than on the half dollar discontinued in 2001. The throwback design being featured on the coins this year is truer to both the president's appearance and his widow

  • FX says overnight ratings becoming meaningless

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — It's a rite nearly as old as television: the morning after a new show premieres, network executives wait impatiently for the Nielsen company's estimate of how many people watched, and rush to report the first sign of a hit. Leaders at the FX network are trying something new: They're no longer talking publicly about how their programs do on opening night, believing those numbers don't accurately reflect how many people see their shows. Instead, they're waiting a few days to see how many people catch up via time shifting. Inside baseball perhaps, but also a vivid illustration of how TV viewing is changing, particularly for the scripted dramas that dominate at FX.

  • LG Electronics says 2Q profit more than doubled

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — LG Electronics Inc. reported a forecast-beating quarterly profit Thursday and gave an upbeat outlook for smartphone profitability as its mobile division ended a streak of losses. Like other South Korean exporters, LG Electronics said the strength of the country's currency, the won, eroded its oversea profits. Still, the company's profit was better than expected as smartphone sales jumped to a record high and TV sales recovered ahead of the World Cup. LG executives said solid sales of handset devices will help its mobile division stay profitable during the fall and winter, even as Apple Inc. is expected to unveil a bigger iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co. is likely to release new models.